Using the Christian Church Calendar can be an incredibly meaningful way of engaging God, and the tradition of the Community of Faith. It’s also a way of sharing one’s spirituality with the global church, both past and present. Here, I want to offer some of my favorite resources to engage in this time deeply.
Check out Churches
Different churches around the country put out specific resources for Lent. Check your church community’s website. Also be sure to look at churches in your area if your church doesn’t have anything.
For example, I live in Philadelphia. My church has an annual prayerbook featuring art, reflections, and a daily prayer liturgy for the season (in PDF, Kindle, and Mobile formats).
But outside of my community, plenty of other churches are doing things. A simple Goggle church in my area brought up prayer guides for the season from City Church Philadelphia, a good friend of our community.
By far, the most widely-used mobile Bible app is the one by YouVersion. Within that app, they have lots of Lent-specific reading plans and free devotionals for this time of year.
My own preference is for the app and resources by Logos Bible Software (who owns this website). They have a really simple and helpful daily reading app called Every Day Bible. Just open it up and read. No schedules or options to fiddle with.
But there’s more to this. This reading plan is also linked with Faithlife, a site through which you can find, create, and join groups for your church, small group, denomination, or circle of friends. Connect this to your reading plan and you all can spend Lent reading and reflecting together.
Books & Devotionals
There’s no shortage of books and devotionals for this season. Here are some of my favorites and some you might enjoy.
- Bread & Wine: Readings for Lent & Easter features selections from, among others, C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, Frederick Buechner.
- Malcolm Guite has a book of poetry selections and reflections in Word in the Wilderness.
- The Every Day Bible Reading Plan above also includes (for free) the relevant devotions in the year-long Connect the Testaments devotional.
- N.T. Wright has his extensive collection of Lent for Everyone books.
- Phyllis Tickle has been writing books of prayer and devotions around the Church Calendar for years, including a great one on Lent.
- God is on the Cross by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
- If you want to stay in one book of the Bible, Rowan Williams has this beautiful collection of Lenten reflections from Mark
- Lastly, if you’re a fan of Pope Francis, here is a book of reflections by him for Lent.
Music & Art
I also connect to this season with music and art. If this is how you’re wired, here are some aids for you:
- Songs for Lent by New York Hymns
- Of Man by Cool Hand Luke
- Lent by The Brilliance
- Loyola Press’ “Arts & Faith” Lent series
- Biola University, and its Center for Christianity , Culture, and the Arts has a beautiful interactive site that brings together art in many different mediums and devotionals for this Lenten season.
- I also have put together two free Mixtapes for Lent, featuring Music by various artists to help in our meditation during this season.
There are plenty of other reading plans and resources available out there on the interwebs to help you engage in this time. To find some more, this Ignatian Spirituality Lent guide is a good start.
I hope these ideas and links help you and encourage you in this time to engage in Lenten reflection and meditation deeply and intentionally. Let me know what you do to engage in Lent!